I’m pulling out my social media soapbox again to take a stand against a phrase that I think causes a lot of people to fall victim to scams. The phrase? “It can’t hurt.”  Because when it comes to online contest scams, it certainly can hurt. Here’s an example. A friend of mine shared this alleged contest. My friend is a smart cookie and even disclaimed that it probably wasn’t real. Still, my pal shared it.

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A friend of my friend commented that it was worth a shot to try.  Me, being me, had to put in my two-cents worth.

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I used the page transparency feature we’ve discussed before to check up on the featured page. (You can click here to learn how to use it.)  That investigation revealed this was a brand-new page with only a couple of posts.

The point I try to get across with sharing suspicious contests like this is that just sharing them can indeed hurt? Why? Because these crooks will usually then comment or message you with links that lead those who click on them to sites loaded with malware that can steal your information or crash your device. Sometimes they’ll even tell people they’ve one and use that to get their information. Sure enough, my friend got a private message shortly after entering.

The problem with taking a chance by sharing posts like this is that not everyone is as smart as my friend. She wouldn’t click on a strange link. But there’s always a possibility that someone who sees a shared post might do just that.

Don’t help these creeps perpetrate their scams.